Giving Generously Means We Have Less

II Cor. 9: 6-15

 Are you a generous person?

When it comes to spiritual things, being generous toward God means that you are willing to give three things:  time – spending time in worship, personal spiritual growth and developing a more mature Christian experience., talent, all of us have things that we can contribute to help the cause of Christ treasure – the first fruits of our earnings - are you lacking in being generous in any of those areas?

Money can be viewed from many perspectives:  While attending college Pastor Rick Clayton’s answering machine went something like this:  Hi, this is Rick; if this is the phone company – I sent in the money; if this is one of my parents – please send money; if this is a friend – you owe me money; if this is a female – I have plenty of money.

Jesus frequently used paradoxes in his teaching.  A paradox initially appears to be inconsistent with common sense; but when understood contains a deep truth and an opportunity to any who will follow it:

             He who finds his life will lose it but he who loses his life for my sake will find it.

            To really live you must die

            To be honored you must be humbled

            To be first you must be last

            To give generously means you have more not less.

Luke 6: 38  give and it shall be given unto you – good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.  Another one of those paradoxical statements of Jesus

At first thoughts are:  you don’t know my finances – I’m broke – barely surviving.  Who was Jesus talking to:  not the CEO’s of the local Rotary Club; not the prestigious Sanhedrin who were well off but to the common people of the day most of whom lived day by day with very little medical attention; no retirement program, no ladder to move up; no savings accounts just everyday people like us.   Jesus knew something that is hard for us to believe.

You make a living by what you get; you make a life by what you give. Most people including Christians never learn this principle of giving either financially or as a lifestyle. God models generosity for us.

John 3:16   In God’s greatest act of love he gave his all.  In the KJV the word believe is used 270 times; the word love 714 times; the word give 2,162 times.  God wants you to be a generous giver because he is a generous giver. 

I.  Generosity multiplies what we give.  Vs. 6,11

When you sow sparingly, you reap sparingly; sow generously, reap generously.

Although we talk about this in financial terms, it is true in all areas of our lives.

If you are critical of others, grouchy all the time and bitter toward the world – that’s what you will reap

If you are jealous and envious –that’s what you will reap

Plant corn – you don’t get potatoes – get not just one kernel of corn – whole ear with multiple kernels.

Plant no financial seeds that’s what you reap. Nothing

Christmas is coming up shortly – The children are excited about what they are going to get – maybe have given you a list.  As adults, I would guess you are more excited about what you are going to give – maturity.  Understand it – get it – it’s not all about you. 


II.  Generosity brings blessings into our lives  vs. 8

Testimonies:  Matt and Denise Rees

                        Doug Norris

            Jack Griffith

            Betsy Blair


III.  Generosity is antidote to materialism. Vs. 10

Matt. 6:24  says we cannot serve both God and money but boy we like to try.  Would you agree that we live in a materialistic society?  It is our nature to want more bigger better .  about the time we catch up with the Jones, they refinance and get some new stuff we don’t have yet

The nature of materialism is that it is never enough.  It is an insatiable parasite that sucks the joy out of life.  Did you know that the root word for miser and miserable is the same word? No wonder God loves a cheerful giver.

Vs. 11 says you’ll be rich in every way – right  just surviving.  Really

100,000   top 99.4%  .6  more than you

50,000    top 99.1     .9 

20,000   top 88    12 % make more

The harvest that is enlarged is not necessarily materialism but righteousness – a different measuring stick of generosity.

I wonder what God thinks of us when he sees those statistics and then hears us say:  we have no money for you Lord.  In the top 1%  we want more. 

I Tim. 6:17  command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant, nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

The antidote to materialism is generosity.  Every time you are generous you win a spiritual victory in your heart over materialism.  Every time you give to the Lord or share with someone in need, you loosen the grip of materialism on your life.

IV.  Generosity is an investment in eternity. Vs. 12-13

The service that you provided – this service of giving to the Lord’s work not only provides you with a feeling of accomplishment; it supplies the needs of God’s people which results in praise to God.

5 baptisms            not have happened if you had not given to the Lord

Youth convention 100+ kids

Every Sunday we have over 100 children hear the gospel

What if I could show you an investment plan that would pay a phenomenal interest.  All know the higher the interest, the higher the risk. – economics 101.  This investment has no risk – high return with no risk – sounds like a Bernie Madoff deal?  Too good to be true.

In addition, it pays dividends, you don’t have to wait to get your dividends, they start right away.

Let me read it to you.  Matt. 6:19-21

  19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.(NIV)

How do you lay up treasures in heaven?  By investing our time, talent, and treasure in the work of God in this world. 

Money is a magnet, If you want to become interested in Microsoft stock, buy some – suddenly you’ll start checking the price.  Where you put your time and money becomes important to you.  Every time we give to God, it draws our heart closer to Him because we are investing in His work.

Some mortuaries have what is called a burial suit.  The deceased doesn’t have one and the family wants him to be buried in one.  Interesting thing about this suit.  No pockets.  You don’t need them. 

The only thing you can take with you is what you send on ahead by investing in the work of God and people here on earth.  God is looking for faithful people through whom he can channel his resources. 

When you are talking about the work of the Lord; there is an expression that captures our love:  we don’t give til it hurts; we give til it feels good.

God doesn’t want you to give out of pressure

Doesn’t want you to give reluctantly  - might as well get it over with

Doesn’t want you to give out of guilt   guess I should

God wants you to give voluntarily, lovingly and cheerfully because he knows that if you do that, you will be blessed, the church will be blessed, our community will be blessed, and God will be glorified.